Opposition parties disrupt AP Assembly

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Hyderabad, Sep 1 (UNI) The Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) today disrupted the proceedings in Andhra Pradesh Assembly for some time over non-payment of arrears to farmers by sugar factories.

Dissatisfied with Sugar Minister J Geeta Reddy's reply during Question Hour, the Opposition members rushed to the well of the House and demanded Speaker K R Suresh Reddy to allow them to speak.

The agitated members raised slogans in support of farmers and pressed for early clearance of arrears by sugar factories.

Registering their protest, the Speaker declined to give permission to speak as per the decision taken by the floor leaders of various parties at the Business Advisory Committee meeting to close the Question Hour by 1030 hrs.

Earlier, putting supplementary questions, TDP Member Hanumantha Rao demanded confiscation of assets of sugar factories as being done by the Mayawati Government in Uttar Pradesh to clear arrears to farmers by sugar factories.

Attributing the problem to fall in the commodity price globally last year, he said out of the total statutory dues plus purchase tax incentive of Rs 1253.30 crore, sugar factories had already paid Rs 1215.92 crore, leaving a balance of Rs 37.38 crore during 2007-08.

Out of the 38 sugar factories, 31 had paid last year's price and the remaining seven factories agreed to pay more than the Statutory Minimum Price plus Purchase Tax incentive, ranging from Rs 57.30 to Rs 178.30 per tonne, she said, adding, out of the total dues towards additional price of Rs 172.62 crore, an amount of Rs 137.92 crore was paid by factories, leaving a balance of Rs 37.470 crore.

The government had directed all the sugar factory managements to clear the dues immediately, she added.

Earlier, the House proceedings were disrupted for some time by the Opposition parties when the Speaker disallowed the adjournment motion notices by the TDP, CPI and CPI(M) on SC/ST welfare, the BJP on rising cost of construction material and the TRS on the Pothireddypadu expansion project. The agitated members resumed their seats after the Speaker assured them to fix time for discussion in the House during the tea break.

UNI SM VA JT AS1701

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